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View Diary: A Texas Congressional Map The DOJ Wouldn't Refuse Preclearance To (22 comments)

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  •  Yes, yes I do (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Englishlefty, KingofSpades

    My dear DKE colleague ProudNewEnglander notes that I will have a lot to say, and I very much do:

    On aesthetics and diary inclusiveness:

    1) Can you please remove precinct boundaries next time you post a diary? They very much get in the way of cogent analysis by readers.

    2) Also, instead of using the screenshot feature built into Dave's App, you should instead use another mechanism for screenshots so that we can see the underlying map. That isn't a problem for me so much as it will be for those unfamiliar with Texas's partisan, demographic, and urban distributions.

    3) The relevant statistic for Hispanic districts in Texas is not VAP, but SSVR. Please include this.

    On the districts themselves:

    1) You've overpacked both Cuellar and Hinojosa's districts. Please do not allow them to go over 62% Obama '08.

    2) Corpus Christi (the city, not necessarily the county) should remain whole. It is an open question of whether or not it should remain whole within Vela's district or within a district oriented to the north. I'd prefer within Vela's.

    3) TX-35 is not a Hispanic district. It likely would elect a Hispanic, but it is almost certainly not an ability to elect district in the way that we think about such things. I much prefer having another fajita strip to this method of adding another Hispanic district for that reason. The legislature disagrees with me, but they aren't exactly known for being "smart". But even the legislative version (which includes Hispanic Atascosa, the county south of Bexar - pronounced like "bear" for those who don't live in Texas) is more Hispanic and secure than this district.

    4) I really, really, really hate the weird finger you have on the 28th into Bexar County. Either go all in and make that look aesthetically pleasing, or don't bother at all. Also, it totally runs afoul of CoI (which you said was one of your guiding lights).

    5) 7th: I've drawn districts like this, and they work well from a Democratic map perspective, but it is horrible CoI. You can still get a Democratic district for a white liberal (let's not kid ourselves here, the district isn't going to elect a Hispanic at all) if you remove the rich Republican white areas, which are totally unlike the rest of the district.

    6) DFW likely would not pass pre-clearance as it does not have a district which could elect a Hispanic consistently. The Fort Worth district would almost always elect an African American, Veasey or otherwise. The Dallas half would be no more than 60/40 to elect a Hispanic preferred candidate, but I can't say for sure without seeing the SSVR data for the lines you've drawn. Off the top of my head, I'd say that because the CVAP numbers there are abysmal, and the SSVR will ofcourse be even lower, that the 13% African American population might just be enough to overwhelm any Hispanic candidate of choice, unless that candidate is Rafael Anchia. But recall that the VRA is not candidate specific, so that doesn't count.

    7) It would be much better regarding the above point to draw the districts split along the other axis: one to the north (Hispanic) and another to the south (African American), each taking in the continuous bands of their respective minority populations from Fort Worth to Dallas. This solves the major sticking point between Hispanic and African American advocacy groups, and works very well.

    8) The 14th!!! I've never considered going into Harris County this way, but if the 29th has an SSVR of over 50.1% (which is legally required, just fyi - another reason I need that data to make more clear judgments) then this actually works better from a visual perspective than the way I've usually entered Harris to make a tossup district.

    9) 32nd: This isn't anywhere near lean Republican. It is safe, and any idea that it isn't need to be smothered in its crib.

    10) The 23rd is bastardized. Please put back Eagle Pass and those few counties around it. They are instrumental to Gallego's security in a Democratic primary.

    23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

    by wwmiv on Tue May 07, 2013 at 09:23:20 AM PDT

    •  On the 14th... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wwmiv, ArkDem14

      Yes, I think this is the most natural way to draw the 14th: compact, and in line with COIs. (If this district had a name, it could just be "Refinery.") It's not hard to draw it as a lean or likely Dem seat, either, and without making the lines look ugly (not that this is the diarist's goal).

    •  All Good Points (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Englishlefty

      As to the first three, duly noted. I'll be amending this later to throw in the SSVR, and I'll make any future diaries easier to see on the maps.

      As to the other points:
      1. I suppose that's true. I wasn't sure how to physically fit these into the map without compromising the 27th as it is now. But if legally it's required I guess I'd do something similar to how they are now.
      2. Is this just precedent? Because all I did was pull out the white parts, which vote completely different than the Hispanic parts. And I'd agree, it belongs with the Brownsville seat and not one that contains Victoria.
      3. I think without too many problems this could be made to work- it'd pull out some of 20's downtown core and have 27 eat at it from the east. Does it have to be 50% +1 on SSVR, or is a significant plurality that dwarfs other groups enough to clear it as a VRA seat? I personally prefer a San Antonio to Austin seat as at least it's almost all urban, which the fajita strip doesn't satisfy at all.
      4. If I were to redraw this I'd probably send it east into where 27 is now, and swapping that Bexar territory in exchange.
      5. Completely fair point. I should've included the Hispanic areas on the west side of the county in exchange for River Oaks, West U, Bellaire, etc. This would drive the white percentage down to 25% or so, which would at least make this a crossover.
      6 & 7. I don't know that it would be denied. The Veasey district is similar, so adding a crossover district entirely in Dallas would seem to be in line. I'd have to look closer at this, but if the numbers work to make that division a good idea that's probably a better way to draw it.
      8. Yeah, this was the one I was most pleased with, as I want my former Congressman back in Washington (albeit not representing where I'm from in this map). I tweaked it slightly after your comment, the 29th was at 49.8% SSVR before, so it didn't really make a political difference to swap a few precincts to make both districts work.
      9. Perhaps lean was too bold, but it's at least likely and the minority population is high enough that it's trending our way and significant resources would have to be spent by the GOP. I think we'd overperform the top of the ticket with the right candidate, and make it a good investment.
      10. Does Gallego's security in a primary really matter? It's already largely a San Antonio district anyway, what's the benefit of those three counties being in the 23rd, aside from unpacking 28 a bit?

      Thank you for the constructive criticism, I only really know the Houston area well and these suggestions are quite helpful. I'm not sure if I'll repost the changes, but at some point when I have time I'm going to either try doing the Legislature with similar criteria, or from a Democratic perspective, and at least for the Senate this has a lot of bearing on it.

      •  Love the give and take! :) (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Englishlefty

        1) Legall required, so yes.

        2) This is precedent, yes, but it's also CoI. The two cities are very similar economically.

        3) Just figure out a way to accomplish getting around 45% SSVR or higher. Preferably 50%, but you could make a legal defense for around 45% that might work.

        4) That sounds fine.

        5) This is better CoI, but it still isn't really crossover. It'd really be coalition if anything, but with a white liberal representative.

        6-7) The numbers work, I've drawn it this way almost exclusively and it is the preferred proposal of both Hispanic and African American advocacy groups.

        8) Good.

        9) Even likely is too bold, although you could easily make it lean or likely by trading some precincts with EBJ (which can legally go down to about 40% AA and be fine), but only if you don't do the 6-7 (in which case it wouldn't work).

        10) Yes, Gallego is really an establishment in the state. The particular counties should be included because they're a better CoI with West Texas than with Laredo.

        23 Burkean Post Modern Gay Democrat; NM-2 (Raised), TX-20 (B.A. & M.A. in Political Science), TX-17 (Home); 08/12 PVIs

        by wwmiv on Wed May 08, 2013 at 11:01:58 AM PDT

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